20 February 2013

Thinking about 2013 Heritage

I have never been a fan of Topps Heritage.

The sets have been bland. Not that the exhumation of fifties and sixties Topps nostalgia is bad, but looking at modern, overpriviledged, males with frosted tips and Phiten necklaces just skews the message you'd expect from something named Heritage.

The faux gloss on the cards makes me physically uncomfortable at times. That squeaky-clean, sterile feeling of a bargain Castles of Caledonia calendar.

My memories of purchasing this product, the few that I do have, are miserable. There's one joke of a sports card shop in the entire Syracuse area, a tobacco smoke-filled alley buttressed on one side by a leaning tower of junk wax and on the other by smoke-filmed glass protecting 200% markup products. I ventured in once in 2009 and purchased three pitty packs of, you guessed it, 2008 Heritage. Quite possibly the worst packs I have ever bought.

When getting back into the hobby in summer of last year, I purchased a seemingly harmless blaster of Heritage from 2012. I had no intention at the time to flip the short prints or land some magnificent relic or what have you. I just wanted some nice cards of possibly some players that I enjoyed or could trade. 

From that entire blaster I remember the following cards: a red parallel of Gaby Sanchez, a Sandy Koufax insert and two cards featuring President Kennedy. There were seventy-two (72!) cards in that box. 

The box (almost) single-handedly pushed me back out of the hobby.

The Topps Heritage checklists, however, have been amazing, and the 2013 product will not disappoint in this department. As a Blue Jays fan, it's wonderful to finally have players to fill out a proper checklist again. Included in 2013 will be:

Jose Bautista
JP Arencibia
Jose Reyes (Short Print, possibly a Metro Marlin)
Casey Janssen
RA Dickey (Short Print, possibly a Metro)
Adeiny Hechavarria (RC, possibly a Metro Marlin)
Edwin Encarnacion
Adam Lind
Josh Johnson (possibly a Metro Marlin)
Anthony Gose (RC)
Brett Lawrie
Ricky Romero
Mark Buehrle (possibly a Metro Marlin)
Colby "Cletus" Rasmus
Rajai Davis
Josh Thole (Possibly a Metro)
Emilio Bonifacio (Possibly a Metro Marlin)
Yunel Escobar (Possibly a Ray)

That's incredible.

Any set that includes my man Casey Janssen is fine by me. But why such a great checklist? Surely, The Trade(s) (TM) had something to do with it. But what else contributed?

Oh, I see. A 500-card checklist. Yeah, that'll adeptly cover most of the 20 teams 20 mainstay player pretty well. I suppose it also makes up for those 350 card sets in which 285 are Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Giants and Cardinals.

But what about the inserts?

This is where Heritage really sticks in my craw. Peruse the checklists currently available for 2013 Heritage.

Reincarnations of previous, awful Heritage inserts. The travesty of chrome-up 1964 design. Stamps. Doctors. Unobtainable cut signatures. The same players in every checklist. Boring relics. Mary Poppins?

Topps, I want baseball. Not Mary Poppins.

Pretty much everything considered a hit is hobby-only or requires a 16-month crusade battling Tigers in Primorski Krai. If you're going for this for anything other than set-building, give up now.

The base set will be daunting. It may seem like a nice challenge, collecting the whole 500 card set. Not to mention there are seventy-five short prints seeded 1:3. I'm still working on 2012 Allen & Ginter SPs, and there were only 50 of those.

Quickly doing some math, 75 short prints (multiplied by) 3 packs is 200 packs for the whole set, assuming no doubles, or about $600 red-blooded, hard-earned American dollars. Without applicable taxes.

But I won't maintain my stubborn ways. I have four coupons for 2013 Heritage that found their way to me from Target blasters of 2013 Mothership Series 1. So I'll dabble in the retail a bit. Maybe try and piece together the Blue Jays team set and their parallels, of which I expect to pull nor more than zero of.

Admittedly, the base set design is nice. '64 was a great year. But 500 of them, 75 of which are short-printed? I cannot. I will not.

I'll just wait until my Gypsy Queens come out in May.


  1. Lots of good points on the Heritage set, but I don't mind it as much. I'll have to take a look at the checklist to see which Padres wandered onto it.

    You got Heritage coupons in flagship blasters? I hadn't heard of that. How much were they for?

    1. Yessir
      $1 off 2 Heritage Packs
      $2 off Heritage "Value Box" (Blaster, I suppose)

      With matching ones for Series 1, Gypsy Queen and Bowman.

  2. For me, Heritage is very hit or miss. I liked 2008, but had nothing to do with 2009 or 2010. 2011 is my favorite set that starts with 20--, but 2012 didn't really do much for me either. I like the 1964 set so I will probably like 2013 Heritage, but I liked 63 Topps and didn't care for last year's Heritage. The Rockies are fairly well represented and only have 3 short prints for me to track down this year down from 6 last year, so it should be a good year.

    1. I'll trade ya my Rockies for your Jays.

  3. I won't be buying much Heritage this year. Usually it's just the opposite. But I suppose I'll have to find some Jays for those Nebulous 9 hostages.

    1. No worries. The hostages are clean and well-fed.

  4. Roy, You left a comment for me about my Topps Green Edwin Encarnacion - I'd love to send that to you, no need for anything in return. Shoot me your address - cameronclow12 AT gmail.com